Inside Story: The Compelling Message
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Maria grew up in Poland.

As a teenager Maria searched for God, but she didn’t find what she was looking for. Eventually she returned to her parents’ church and immersed herself in its practices, hoping for spiritual fulfillment.

As she read the Bible, she discovered many texts that raised questions in her mind. The book of Revelation posed the greatest challenge, but her priest couldn’t answer her questions.

Maria’s husband wanted to leave Poland, which didn’t have enough television stations to satisfy him. [...]

11: The Christian Life – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for The Christian Life December 12, 2012] 

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1. The Christian. What is a Christian? By that definition, are you a Christian? Are you saved by your faith as a Christian? or by your works? What did the apostle James think about faith compared to works in the Christian life? Was he a legalist? Why or why not? Read a few verses in 1 Timothy 1. When Paul says the law is not made [...]

Thursday: Christian Behavior
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Beyond the family, the Christian has other social and professional involvements – a

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clear recognition of the biblical view that Christians are in the world but not of the world (John 17:14-18). Consider the following three areas of daily life and discuss the Christian’s responsibilities in regard to lifestyle and behavior:

1. Employer/Employee Relations (James 5:4-6, Eph. 6:5-9). Apart from regarding employees as equals in Christ, the Christian employer must be guided by the principle that adequate work requires adequate compensation. On [...]

Wednesday: Christian Marriage
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Humans are social beings.

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At home and work, and in public and civic places, people are involved in all kinds of relationships. Responsible Christian behavior ought to be evident at all these levels, and the Bible has relevant principles by which to guide these relationships.

Study the following Bible passages in order to come up with a biblical definition of marriage: Gen. 2:21-25, Mal. 2:14, Eph. 5:28.

To define something is to provide its meaning. Today it is said that marriage [...]

Real or Right?
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During the Billy Graham era, while the evangelical movement retained the flavor of modernism, the preaching emphasis seemed to my young adult mind to be “getting right” with God. During that time I became a Christian and then a Seventh-day Adventist. Everything felt right. I got right with God, began worshiping on the right day, and believing the right doctrines.*

As the decades rolled along I saw a shift in evangelicalism (my larger religious sphere), which affected Adventism (my smaller religious [...]

Expressing Our Love
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Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

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Soviet Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the author of Tortured for Christ, suffered terribly for the Lord. Yet he said that even while in prison, he saw fellow Soviet believers practice generous giving. “When we were given one slice of bread a week and dirty soap every day, we decided [...]

11: The Christian Life – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought : The Christian is to use the gifts of personal and material resources God has given them to reflect His benevolence.

[Teaching plan for The Christian Life December 10, 2012]

1. Have a volunteer read I John 3:16.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. How well do we do in helping the poor in our community?
C. Personal Application: Is there anyone inside the church that you would [...]

Tuesday: The Responsibility to One’s Self
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Jesus tells us very clearly that “thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt. 22:39).

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A very interesting text in light of the idea that we often look at love for self as the height of all that is opposed both to Christianity and to the idea of disinterested selflessness. What did Jesus mean by this text? How do we interpret, and apply it, in a way that reflects what true Christianity should be about?

Love of [...]

Monday: Tithe: A Mere Pittance
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“And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites

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take tithes:and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house. For the children of Israel and the children . . .” (Neh. 10:38, 39).

Think about your life; think about the brevity of it; think about the utter inevitability of your death (unless Christ returns in your lifetime). Think [...]

Sunday: Stewardship
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When we think about salvation translating into service to others, we cannot avoid the Christian concept of stewardship.

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The Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia defines ‘stewardship’ as “the responsibility of God’s people for, and use of, everything entrusted to them by God – life, physical being, time, talents and abilities, material possessions, opportunities to be of service to others, and their knowledge of truth.”

Look at the following passages. With each one ask yourself, Given my particular circumstances, how can [...]

Sabbath: Christian Life
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Read for This Week’s Study: Deut. 8:11-17; Phil. 2:3-4; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; Rev. 22:1-5;Matt. 22:39; Gen. 2:21-25.

Memory Text: “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16, NKJV).

Key Thought: Anyone can call himself or herself a Christian. What, though, does that mean in practical terms?

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save [...]

Further Study: Law and the Gospel
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Read Ellen G. White, pp. 140-146, in A Solemn Appeal; “God’s Law Immutable,” pp. 433-450, in The Great Controversy.

“God would have us realize that He has a right to mind, soul, body, and spirit – to all that we possess. We are His by creation and by redemption. As our Creator, He claims our entire service. As our Redeemer, He has a claim of love as well as of right – of love without a parallel. . . . Our bodies, our souls, our [...]